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Get to Know the Experts

Continue to check back for an updated list of speakers.

The AAPG Global Super Basins Leadership Conference will kickoff 11 February with an evening reception. Sessions will begin 12 February and last through 13 February.

speaker panel

Charles A. Sternbach has explored for and discovered Energy in the U.S. and around the globe for 38 years. He was Staff Geologist for Shell Oil Company, Exploration Manager for Tom Jordan (Jordan Oil and Gas), President of First Place Energy (international frontier exploration), and is currently President of Star Creek Energy. Charles has a Ph.D. (and M.Sc.) in Geology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a B.A. in geology from Columbia University. He was appointed a University of Houston Energy Fellow and adjunct professor 2018.

Charles is a proud member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and he was the 2017/2018 President of this 30,000 member organization. He is a co-editor with Dr. Robert Merrill on the fifth installment of the AAPG memoir series Giant Fields of the Decade 2000-2010 (Memoir 113) and they are working on the 2010-2020 next edition. In April 2017 he served as lead editor of the AAPG/DPA Book: Heritage of the Petroleum Geologist. This book celebrated 101 great men and women geoscientists for AAPG’s 100th Anniversary. He focuses on exploration creativity exemplified by creation and moderation of AAPG popular programs like Discovery Thinking, Playmaker, and Super Basin forums.

Charles resides in Houston, Texas. In addition to his service to AAPG, Charles has also served as past president Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, past president Houston Geological Society, and past president of AAPG’s Division of Professional Affairs. He has been recognized with Honorary Membership by each of these organizations. His wife Linda is a distinguished geophysical advisor.

Mike Party is CEO/President of Beryl Oil and Gas, LP and a General Partner in Cardinal Resources, LLC, and has been working in the Oil and Gas industry for 39 years. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1978 with a B.S. degree in geology/geophysics and was awarded an Honorary Professional Degree in 1994.

He started his career with Cities Services working as a geophysicist, he then joined Wagner & Brown in 1981 serving as Exploration Manager for 9 years before joining Reliance Energy in November 2009. Mike served as Vice President of Exploration for Reliance Energy until Reliance Energy’s main assets were sold to Concho Resources in October 2016.

Mike is an active member of local, national, and international geological societies. Most notably, has served as the President of the Southwest Section of the AAPG, Secretary of AAPG, President of the Division of Professional Affairs within the AAPG, and is the current President-Elect of AAPG and will be President 2019-2020. He also served as President of the West Texas Geological Society and the Permian Basin Section of SEPM.

Mike was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumni from the University of Missouri –Rolla and Honorary Life membership from both the West Texas Geological Society and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He is a Certified Geologist within the State of Texas and is a Certified Petroleum Geologist and Certified Petroleum Geophysicist by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Dr. John W. Snedden is Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Gulf Basin Depositional Synthesis Project at the Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin. He received degrees from Trinity University (San Antonio), Texas A&M University (College Station), and Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge). Prior to joining UT, John worked for Mobil and ExxonMobil for over 25 years in research, exploration, development with multiple domestic and international assignments.

John has served as Vice-President of GCS-SEPM and Secretary-Treasurer of SEPM. He won the SEPM Excellence in Oral Presentation award, GCAGS Journal Best Paper Award and AAPG’s A.I. Levorsen Best Paper Award. He was selected as a Heritage of the Petroleum Geologist honorees by AAPG in 2017. He has also served as overall technical chair of several AAPG and GCS-SEPM domestic and international conventions.

John has published over 35 scientific papers 25 of which he is the first author. John and William Galloway have completed a new book called Depositional Evolution of the Gulf of Mexico Sedimentary Basin: Foundational Science and Practical Applications, currently scheduled for publication by Cambridge University Press in 4Q2019.

Paul is an explorer with over 17 years of experience in the oil & gas industry as a geologist, exploration manager and director. Paul has experience with mega-regional to prospect scale projects and has worked across a wide variety of plays and provinces globally; he is currently Vice President at IONs E&P Advisors group responsible for the Eastern Hemisphere.

Previously Paul was Director of Geoscience at PDF Limited, a geoscience consultancy focused on providing outsourced exploration department services to oil and gas companies. Before PDF, Paul was Director of New Ventures at ION where he focused on growing the multi-client offering based around the innovative Basin SPAN program.

Paul had previously spent six years at Hess in London where he had roles as a geoscientist in exploration and new ventures teams as well as roles in strategic planning and portfolio management across exploration and production businesses. Latterly, Paul was exploration manager for the operated exploration assets in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Paul has a PhD in Arctic tectonics from the University of Cambridge and is a fellow of the Geological Society and a member of the PESGB.

Originally from Russia, Inessa received her undergraduate education in petroleum geology and geochemistry from Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia), master’s degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Inessa joined the Bureau of Economic Geology at UT-Austin as a basin modeler and petroleum systems analyst in July 2018. Much of her work currently focuses on the Permian Basin in West Texas and on the North Slope of Alaska. For her projects, Inessa enjoys incorporating field observations, subsurface data interpretation, and laboratory work with numerical data analysis.

Dr. Lugo is a Geologist graduated from Universidad Central de Venezuela in 1980 and holds a Ph.D. from University of Texas at Austin in 1991. He is a basin and a petroleum system analyst with over 40 years of experience in the oil industry in hydrocarbon exploration projects, both in regional and local settings.

Dr. Lugo was a graduate lecturer at the Universidad Central de Venezuela for nine years and advisor for several graduate students. He offered several technical international seminars in Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and USA.

From 1979 to January 2003 Dr. Lugo held different managerial and executive positions at Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). During his last three years at PDVSA, he co-managed the approval for all exploration projects onshore and offshore Venezuela. From 2003 to September 2004 he was Director for Exploration in Arauca Energy Group. From 2004 to 2016 he was the senior Vice President Exploration of Pacific Rubiales Energy where he conducted the exploration for 60 exploration contracts in Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Guyana and Guatemala. He is currently the Exploration Director for Latam Oil and Gas corporation.

Emeliana is the Vice President of Exploration at PETRONAS and has been responsible for PETRONAS global exploration business and geoscience function based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia since April 2016.

Emeliana started her career as a biostratigrapher more than 25 years ago and since then has held numerous technical, managerial and leadership roles in Upstream in Shell and PETRONAS in Malaysia, Asia Pacific, North Sea, Brazil, US and Latin America. Since June 2012 she has served as the Senior General Manager and Vice President of Exploration Malaysia at PETRONAS. Her experience covers the full spectrum of the exploration business, including appraisal & field development, as well as strategy, portfolio and business planning.

Emeliana is a Director of PETRONAS Gas Berhad and PETRONAS Management Training Sdn. Bhd. She is a member of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Association of Petroleum Geologist, the champion of PETRONAS Leading Women’s Network and advisory member of the Malaysia Women in Energy.

Emeliana holds a degree in geology from the University of South Carolina, USA. She is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program from the Harvard Business School.

ConocoPhillips and predecessor companies 1981 – present:

  • 2016 – present Geologic Fellow, Exploration New Ventures, Regional Growth Team. Houston
  • 2009 – 2016 Geologic Fellow, US L48 unconventional exploration. Houston
  • 2007 – 2009 Director, Circum Arctic Team. Houston
  • 1997 – 2006 Manager, North Slope Satellite Exploration. Anchorage
  • 1994 – 1997 Director, Petroleum Systems Research, ARCO Exploration and Production Technology lab. Plano, TX
  • 1990 – 1994 Supervisor, Prudhoe Bay Field Development Geoscience. Anchorage
  • 1981 – 1990 Geologist – North Slope, Chukchi Sea, Cook Inlet, and Alaska interior basins. Anchorage

2001 - P Ph. D. (Geochemistry), University of Texas at Dallas; “Petroleum Filling History of Central Alaskan North Slope Fields.”

Dr. Steve Sonnenberg is a Professor of Geology and holds the Charles Boettcher Distinguished Chair in Petroleum Geology at the Colorado School of Mines. He specializes in unconventional reservoirs, sequence stratigraphy, tectonic influence on sedimentation, and petroleum geology. A native of Billings, Montana, Sonnenberg received BS and MS degrees in geology from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. degree in geology from the Colorado School of Mines. Steve began teaching at Colorado School of Mines in 2007 after working in the petroleum industry for over 25 years.

Steve has served as President of several organizations including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, RMS-AAPG and Colorado Scientific Society.

Lisa Fullarton has over 20 years industry experience gained predominantly in International oil companies including Hess, Shell and Texaco, working on mega-regional to prospect scale exploration projects across 5 continents.

She has a PhD in Structural Geology from Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, a MSc in Petroleum Geology from the University of Aberdeen and a BSc in Geology from Imperial College, University of London.

Since 2013 Lisa has been working as an Independent Consultant. She has been consulting with Ion Geophysical since 2017 on projects in Libya, Nigeria and West Africa.

Dr Neil Hodgson has over 30 years of experience in international oil and gas exploration with major exploration operators. Through his career Neil has worked in, managed and led exploration teams that have found Oil and Gas for BP, BG and Premier Oil. In 2012 Neil joined Spectrum ASA – a multi-client seismic acquisition company to develop and communicate geoscience understanding of the worlds future super basins. Spectrum ASA merged successfully with TGS in August 2019.

Misfir AzZahrani earned a Bachelor Degree of Science in Geology from King Saud University.

He was the General Manager of Prospect Portfolio Development in Exploration, prior to his current post as Executive Director of Exploration at Saudi Aramco.

Mr. AzZahrani attended University Executive and Business programs at Tuck, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Oxford Institute of Energy. He served as a member on the board of Upstream Joint Ventures, member of professional societies and appointed member of the Kingdom’s Mining Strategy. Mr. AzZahrani is also a member of College of Petroleum and Geosciences Advisory Council at KFUPM, and a Board member of Saudi Aramco Upstream Technology Company.

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